Taipei to drop road plan to preserve buildings: Ko

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 24, 2015 - Page 3

The Taipei City Government would seek to preserve a cluster of buildings on the site of the Nangang Bottle Cap Factory by eschewing a road construction project that would bisect the site, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said.

Ko made the remarks on Tuesday night during a meeting with civic groups advocating for the preservation of the entire site, who called for the abolition of the construction of 10m wide road, as it would see some former offices in one building destroyed.

Activist Lin Yi-chun (林怡君) said that the project was unnecessary because traffic in the area is light and other roads near the site are accessible.

The city government and civic groups would seek available spaces in the city’s Nanganang District (南港) from landowners involved in an urban rezoning project who would be interested in offering their properties in exchange for plots within the site, which has been planned for the development of a commercial district.

A task force headed by Taipei City Government policy adviser Yang Chung-hsin (楊重信) and Taipei Department of Land Commissioner Lee Te-chuan (李得全) was established to perform the task.

A possible alternative proposed during the meeting involves moving the commercial district to a space within the construction site of the Taipei Popular Music Center overseen by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Ko said he would negotiate with Chunghwa Telecom and the National Property Administration — both of which own substantial stakes in the land — about postponing the road construction.

The city government has halted demolition work at the site since Sunday, after the project met with strong protest from civic groups.

The premises of the now-defunct factory is part of a Ministry of Cultural Affairs initiative to preserve a belt of buildings dating to the Japanese colonial period, which is located along a section of the Taiwan Railways Administration’s western railway which now operates underground.